Minors under 16 years old must obtain a work permit before beginning a job. This includes home-schoolers. They must get a new permit every time they begin a new job until they reach 16 years old, even if they work for their parents.
In order to apply for a work permit, the minor must be:
1. enrolled in school;
2. not habitually truant or under suspension; and
3. passing a majority of courses during the current grading period.
Employers must have a stamped, approved work permit on file before allowing any minor under 16 years old to work.
Once the minor has the promise of a job, they must provide proof of age and a completed work permit signed by the parent/guardian to the office of the Superintendent of Schools. If the student is enrolled in RSU 21, we can use your child’s school record as proof of age. If not, we will need a birth certificate or passport.
The Superintendent’s office will sign the permit, examine proof of age (birth certificate, passport or school record) and submit the work permit electronically to the Maine Department of Labor. The Department will review the permit to ensure that the minor is of legal age to work at the business and that the occupation is not hazardous. When approved, the permit will be returned to the Superintendent/designee to forward on to the student or parent/guardian.
The Department of Labor issues permits for specific occupations with specific employers. Permits are not transferable to other jobs or employers. A minor under 16 needs a separate work permit for each place he or she works.
A minor can have one active permit during the school year and two during the summer. Upon leaving a job, the minor or the employer should request that the work permit be cancelled so that the student is able to obtain another work permit.